I recently read the book, Pollyanna (written in 1913 by Eleanor Porter), and was delighted to find that this is a book about the Law of Attraction. Through a process called the “Glad Game,” this book beautifully and poignantly celebrates the power of appreciation to raise our vibration and improve our circumstances.
Pollyanna learned the Glad Game from her father, a poor missionary. It originated one Christmas when Pollyanna, who had been hoping to receive a doll in the missionary barrel, was disappointed to find only a pair of crutches. To help Pollyanna feel better, her father made up the Glad Game. He taught her to look for something to be glad about in every situation. In this case, he encouraged her to be glad about the crutches – because they didn’t need them!
The story begins as 11 year old Pollyanna, now orphaned, comes to live with her wealthy, stern, domineering aunt. Aunt Polly in no way wants this lively, gregarious child in her grand home, but prides herself on doing her “duty.” As Pollyanna fills her aunt’s house with joy and appreciation, Aunt Polly’s cold and distant demeanor warms and softens. Pollyanna then spreads her irrepressible optimism throughout her new town and teaches everyone to play the Glad Game, whereupon spirits are uplifted and hearts are mended.
For Pollyanna, it is ever so much more fun to play the Glad Game when it’s really hard to find something to be glad about. When she gets hit by a car and faces the prospect of never walking again, even Pollyanna is stumped – until, one by one, the very people she inspired show up to let her know how much her encouragement to be glad has improved their lives. She is then able to be glad that she had once had the privilege to walk around the town and uplift others.
“There is always something for which to be thankful.”
– Charles Dickens
Exercise: Following Pollyanna’s example that it’s more fun to play the Glad Game when it’s really hard, think of your most vexing problem – the really gnarly one that just won’t seem to go away. Now I invite you to play the Glad Game with this situation. Think of at least three things about this very issue you can find to be glad about. I played the game with my peskiest issue and was amazed to find a full ten things to be glad about in that situation – just as it is.
Playing the Glad Game with troubling circumstances may not bring obvious changes immediately but, as you stay in that high vibration, you can be certain that improvements are on the way.
Pollyanna is often used as a derogatory term for someone considered hopelessly naïve and optimistic to a fault. To me, Pollyanna represents the child in all of us – the dreamer, the cheerful and hopeful believer – before we’re taught to be “realistic,” before we’re taught to feel foolish for looking on the bright side.
Who do you think has a better chance of getting a positive outcome – the person who is negative and worried and “realistic,” or the person who is happy and enjoys life and believes everything will work out perfectly?
This is what we Pollyanna-types know for sure:
When we look for things to be glad about, we feel better and we attract even more things to be glad about. What we focus on grows.
We’re not denying that pain and suffering exist, but we know that in resisting what-is and fighting against problems, we create more problems. What we resist persists.
As we focus on things to appreciate about even our most unwanted experiences, we raise our vibration, we release our resistance and, voila, an obstacle becomes an opportunity! We create our own reality.
As the novel ends, Pollyanna is learning to walk again and appreciating every delicious step she takes. “Oh I can – I can – I can walk! Six steps today and eight steps tomorrow and . . . I’m so glad! I’m glad for everything.”
Because we have a choice in every moment whether to focus on the positive or the negative, and because focusing on the positive feels better and attracts more of what we do want and less of what we don’t want, is it really naïve to be joyful and appreciative? Perhaps it’s actually the path of wisdom. For these reasons and more, I am proud to be a Pollyanna!